Matera (Southern Italy) has gained international fame for its ancient town, the Sassi di Matera (meaning stones of Matera). The Sassi, originate from a prehistoric settlement, are houses dug into the calcareous rock itself. Many of these houses are really only caverns, and the streets in some parts of the Sassi often are located on the rooftops of other houses. Now Matera and its large number of rupestrian churches is an beautiful touristic little town. Because of the ancient and primitive scenery in and around the Sassi, it has been used by filmmakers as the setting for ancient Jerusalem (Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ is just the last one).Today is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.